Of Course Samsung Are Serving Ads On TV

The ad industry has a problem that a lot of people and technologies are trying to engineer a solution to. The problem? We are unable to track TV and digital side by side, meaning that attempting to plan and track a cross-platform/media campaign for incremental reach and frequency is problematic to say the least.

Currently there are few solutions to this; Neilsen XCR is the biggest and arguably best example of this to date. The technology combines BARB data with OCR data (Nielsen’s online campaign tracking tool) to give you a good indication of incremental reach across platforms and fairly good measurements. This has been very beneficial over the last year or so but is still far from the ideal. 

Sky AdSmart is another great example of this “shoehorning” of TV and Digital worlds. I don’t use the term shoehorning to sound derogatory; the product is genuinely ahead of the curve and a real step in the right direction. Being able to dynamically change the advertising on recorded shows within the Sky box allows advertisers to keep their messaging relevant, fresh and yes, it’s connected to the Internet. It’s also worth mentioning that Sky inserted 11M adservers into set top boxes and stared rolling out AdSmart without any consumers really noticing.

A final example of the collisions of these worlds would be TubeMogul’s recent partnering with Mondelez to programmatically insert the first superbowl ad into linear TV at the superbowl!, this has massive connotations and is a fundamental shift in the way TV is bought and traded.

Now imagine if we could do all of the above and more through a single platform. Ask yourself: who is best placed to do this? The technology exists to enable Samsung to not only have adservers in their televisions, but also to recognise ad breaks in content and dynamically override the existing adserving, programmatically insert its own ads. As unethical as this would be it does solve the industry’s biggest problem and does it efficiently and relatively easily.

The question isn’t how or why Samsung is doing this but rather why it has taken so long! The answer to this is of course, money. TV networks make a lot of it and are reluctant to open the Pandora ’s Box this will inevitably be once it happens. That’s not to say they won’t or won’t be able to continue to make money but it will fundamentally change an age-old system that, by their own admission, “has been developed over 50 years”. Unfortunately for them, the very time they got it sorted is the same time it’s becoming obsolete.

The winner here isn’t the person or technology that manages to build a bridge between TV and Digital, it’s the person or technology that reinvents both!